Copyright--Although I'm Sharing Stuff With You, Please Respect That It's Mine....

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Time to Fail

Hey everyone!  Yes, I know I've been gone awhile from here--I've neglected my creative inner voice. BUT, I have had some very GOOD REASON....

So, it's my birthday today, so I had to take some time to share what's been going on and to try to get my writing bearings back on track a smidge.

Reflecting upon my life, my self, my situation right now, I'm just so dang grateful.  Truly.  What a ride it's been!  I'm owning up to several things now that I'd like to freely share in the hopes of either contributing to the generalizable knowledge base, or to add a voice to my experience that might help or encourage or somehow help others.

I'm not perfect, I'm not fake, I'm not holier-than-thou.  I don't pretend to be anything other than authentic, genuine, and sincere.  Period.  Oh, and blonde.  Can't forget that, LOL!

I try, I succeed, and sometimes I fail.  OK, lately, I seem to be failing a LOT!

Even failure has a silver lining, as it's such a valuable teacher.  I don't share to put myself out there for attention or to fish for compliments--trust me, I'm not that insecure most days.

Simply put, I share because others have shared with me.  Others have mentored me, have taken time with me, have guided and led me.  I cannot and WILL not do less.  The future generation requires, demands, nay, DESERVES this from all of us.  We are all teachers.  We are all leaders.  We are all students.  We are all followers--this never ends, it's eternal, people!

I want to focus on the past couple of years--from 2014 until the present day.  What has happened to me?  Well, let's see.  We packed up and sold my parents'/my childhood home.  We bought a home a county (and another totally different world) away.  I thought I had landed my dream job, which quickly turned out to be the wrong thing for me at that moment, no matter how much I wanted it to be otherwise.  We moved.  I had no job. I had some serious healing to do after going through everything with my folks' passing.
Silly me, I thought that "tiny" move would be easy--both personally and professionally. Especially since our dearest friends did the same and were now in our neighborhood.  YAY, right?!

In a word:  WRONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!

This work thing was by far the most unexpected, and unwelcome thing to experience--as I found it took me almost 1.5 years to re-enter the workforce.  When I finally returned to full-time work, it was in a diminished capacity at a salary rate that was a fraction of what I had been earning before, with no room for growth or development.  As a result, I am in a job where I don't really fit, working at less than my capacity or my usual reputation--in an effort to maintain my sanity and preserve myself. Not proud of that, but it's a work in progress.

Being in crisis mode during this time, I feel I pulled back from my faith-based community, although that was not at all my intent--I felt I've been running on empty and simply had to. Probably a poor choice, but I'm being totally honest here.

My husband wasn't working, due to health reasons, for over 2 years.  That combination of both of us not working for an extended period of time wreaked havoc for us financially and even personally. He had life-saving and life-changing surgery and was unable to return to his previous career and embarked on a dramatic career change.  Change is harder for some more than others, as is learning. My hubby has taken up this challenge like a rock star and I'm so proud of him for always putting himself out there!

Failure to work, failure to make some smarter long-term decisions, I just saw failure everywhere I looked.  Crisis mode for 2 years is enough to make the sanest of us crazy.

Looking at this now, I realize this time allowed me (and my hubby, too) to fail freely--to embrace the learning moments, to understand on the deepest level, to change, and evolve.  Terrence, this is powerful stuff.  Razing us to the core, to be able to emerge from the flames improved, stronger, better than before.  This has humbled me in such a profound way that I don't know if I would have appreciated it in another setting.  Painful, but honest. And true.

At this lowest point, the Big Guy Upstairs/Heavenly Father/The Universe decided to mix things up a bit, answering a prayer I had been keeping in my heart and mind for nearly 20 years--we got a very unexpected chance to become foster and now adoptive parents to a precious soul who was prepared just for us! Talk about awful timing--or, was it?!

Being at our most humble and vulnerable point, I feel it's opened us up on the deepest level--affording us to bathe in the gratitude of the gift and opportunity we've been blessed with.  I love more powerfully than before, if that's even possible.  I'm much more patient than before, dismissing the truly insignificant and unimportant distractions of this modern life and focusing on what really matters.  I feel it's making us better parents, better partners, better individuals in general.  Maybe it's my own warped perspective, but it bears considering.

By sharing our experience in our fostering and adoptive journey, I've learned that others have not only learned about our process, but they themselves are embarking on similar journeys which will transform their lives and the lives of these beautiful children forever.  That's something I never anticipated nor expected--but it, too, humbles me beyond words.

By expressing my emotions, feelings, thoughts, and reflections I engage and also absorb and evolve continually.  My dialogue with others, whether face-to-face or virtually, is a powerful tool I hope continues to be positive, nurturing, encouraging, accepting, and authentic.

Someday I'll actually get my books/dreams written--struggling with my own inner demons on getting those un-blocked and actually completed.  My personal goal is to get something finished by the end of this year and we'll see where things go from there.  For some reason, 2017 just is the year. If you don't write it down, it's not real--so this is my first of many steps to make it real for REALS this time :)

My parents' wisdom, memories, and presence abide with me, and I treasure and celebrate that.  I miss them dearly, often to tears and laughter.  Sometimes I'm emotional, sometimes I'm laid-back, and sometimes life is just circus-crazy.  Learning to find joy and gratitude in failure, in rebuilding, and appreciating that process is a priceless gift for which I'm so thankful.

I'm thankful for the age spots on my face, the laugh lines, the bags under my eyes.  I'm grateful for poopy diapers, for soft cuddles, for runny noses.  I'm grateful for the peals of contagious giggles echoing through the house and the sound of toys being played with.  I'm grateful for the chance to feel fulfilled despite annoying jobs, to feel adored by my soul's mate at the end of a long and crazy day, and to hold hands no matter what's going on.

I'm not the clothes I wear.  I'm not the car I drive.  I'm not the position I hold nor the credentials behind my name.  I'm not a calling in church.  I'm not my house, nor my neighborhood.  I'm not my jewelry nor my purse, nor my shoes on my feet.  I'm definitely not my credit score.

I'm a WOMAN.  I'm a Daughter.  I'm a Sister.  I'm a Friend.  I'm a Lover.  I'm a Partner/Soulmate. I'm a MOMMY.  I'm the twinkle in my Daddy's/hubby's/baby boy's eyes. I'm the fierce mama bear advocating for her little one with every breath and effort in her to make sure he's getting what he needs and deserves from this life.  I'm the hug at the start and end of the day. I'm the warm kiss on your cheek.  I'm the eye-roll and wink and totally unladylike snort at a corny joke.  I'm the contented sigh, I'm the one getting back up after falling down and trying again or starting over.  I'm the one working my scars and imperfections into my own personal mix.  I'm gratitude for every little thing in a recent world where the big things have gone totally sideways.

I'm the tears for the tender mercies and quietest moments when I can be still and KNOW HE IS GOD.

I. Am. FULFILLED.

I'm grateful for the chance to improve my health to be able to be active and present in every facet of my baby boy's beautiful life.  I'm deeply thankful for incredibly caring and supportive friends/family "Framily" who have been answers to more prayers than you'll ever know. For an amazing day care which is a home away from home and beautifully nurturing and stimulating place of love and learning and laughter.

At the end of the day, I'm the most grateful to simply be comfortable and happy in my own skin.  At 44, I'm so richly blessed and fortunate.  For every. Little. Thing.
Thank You!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Closer


Special Note before reading further:
I've pondered long and hard about sharing this, and for good reason. This is a very mature topic which is definitely provocative and not for everyone's taste....In the end, I felt I needed to share--to point out something incredibly powerful I learned from dabbling in affairs of body, heart, and soul....
I guess, in an odd way I'm sharing what happens when you don't follow what you know and feel to be true, just to see what happens...to see if the grass is greener on the other side...so it's a poem with a story and a warning. The road back to self-esteem, self-worth, and spiritual healing comes at a very dear price--while I'm forever grateful for the miracle of forgiveness and the Atonement, I honestly would never want to experience that journey again, nor would I wish it on anyone, if I could prevent it.....
This was something I wrote after going through a very experimental point of my life, when I wandered and explored and ended up pretty much bitter and disillusioned from making some pretty awful decisions. Extremely poor judgement, in retrospect.
Funny thing about youth, that. Young, beautiful, and oh, so stupid in matters of the heart....
Around this time I had again started going back to my church again, in the attempt to get back to what I somehow always knew but had foolishly abandoned anyway.
I captured this feeling about my overall disgust and bitterness with the ultimate metaphor of "safe sex," i.e., a condom...
That. Is. A. Great. Big. LIE....There's absolutely nothing safe about casual sex....
Not something I'm happy or proud of, but just the same--it's one of my many scars and its imprints left me wiser and able to grow and progress into what I'm grateful I've become....
Make no mistake, there's honestly NOTHING casual about sex--the epitome of joining--physically, and so much more....the sacred ability to create a bond, to create a life....and the misuse of it truly leads to nothing more than heartache, loneliness, and empty regret and bitterness....trust me on this one. I turned away from things I believed and held dear in the efforts to try to obtain affection, closeness, and in the end that instant gratification nearly became my own undoing.
So deeply grateful I was able to eventually get back on the path that has brought me a deeper sense of happiness, joy, and eternal companionship. And, while I recognize my opinion might be in a social minority or even greatly unpopular--it's true for me nevertheless. And I own it, along with all my decisions, the scars, the lessons, the experiences, and the wisdom it's afforded me. All of it.
As an artist, I owe it to myself to reflect and share as brutally honestly as I know how....You can take it, you can leave it, you can love it, you can hate it. It's me, just the same. Thank you for reading this, even if you read no further. For those of you who wish to read on, I also thank you....
Eliza
June 29, 2015



I hate condoms.
Rolled.  Powdery.
Plasticking inside,
Stretching wide around
the very fiber of
release.

It's all about.
Prophylactically choking.
My space, my air, my mind--
my coming heart
inhales the burning
bitter rubber offerings.
Socially.
Smoothing them down.
Pat all down
nice and easy--
like "buttah."
Just like the pillows
in the morning.
Unreal.

I've yet to feel
THE ONE THING.
Is that ME that's 
oozed into that reservoir tip?
If I let it?
Is that what I amount to
after all?
Torn.
Wrapper discarded.

Condoms kill
the urge, the rush,
the touch of
two thoughts converging--
just a thought.
Out there.
Smothered.
Sterile.
All yours.
Alone.
Hiding under the blanket
of "Responsible...."
Riiight.
To keep me in the shape
of your toy,
nice and safe-like
from feeling.

Again?!
Ugh...
Just. FAKE. It.
Scream to protect....
That's what you 
really mean
what you
really are
what you
really bare
when you 
pull it over.
Tight.

For the time being,
Taut to be friction,
taught to be clean.
Immuned. Dry
from penetrating gush
of
the sharing,
the closing of eyes
in me
to me
on me 
with me.
How long can you last
against me?

Go ahead and put it on....  

(Originally drafted 2/24/98, Rev 6/29/2015)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gran's Afgans (You Promised)

This was written back in 1994, the very first time I truly dealt with death of a close loved one--my gran was everything to me at the time--not only was I her and my great grandma's namesake; but she had a way of making me feel like I was the most special thing on the planet.  She had a tradition of making afghans for each of her children, their wives, then her grandchildren, and then great-grandchildren.  She had made me mine the year before.  I went to see her two weeks before she died, and we had planned on my coming up again in a couple of months so she could finally teach me how to crochet so I could begin making afghans for my very own family someday.  Sadly, that never happened.
Her death totally crushed me at the time--that was the very first time in my life that I couldn't stop crying...it wouldn't be the last, but at the time I thought it so strange and very intense....Ever since, I have had a very powerful spiritual connection with her, for which I'm profoundly grateful and which I cherish and treasure.  She makes me laugh, she makes me cry, she still makes me feel like the most special thing on the planet, only now it's from the other side of the veil....Here's to you, Velma Jane Jeffries Farley.



You promised to make my babies afghans, too,
when the time came.  But you've gone away.
I promise to raise them loving you as I do.

I cried out in anguish, begging for you
to hold out a little longer--'til my 21st birthday.
You promised to make my babies afghans, too.

I know, such a selfish, naive thing for me to do,
but I never really had a chance to say,
"I'll promise to raise them loving you as I do."

A year has passed, and I still remember you
giggling in bed, slyly wink in your way.
But. You promised to make my babies afghans, too.

You're the sweetest dearest friend I ever knew.
You made me treasure every part of life each day.
I promise to raise them loving you as I do.

It aches to say goodbye, it's true--
Hugs, kisses, stories--in our minds to stay.
You promised to make my babies afghans, too.
And I promise I'll raise them with memories of you.




Last Night

Another oldie revisited...again, from another chapter in my life....


I miss you.
I had that dream again
last night.
Whispers prickling,
tickling surrender into
the back of my neck.
So real I giggled in my sleep.

I miss you.
Warming flushes sweep
my thoughts, my face, my heart
at one wordless moment.
Trapped by the burning black
of your eyes.
So real I gasped into my pillow.

I miss you.
Searing, rhythmic velvet
tracing, teasing, tormenting
constant, gentle spirals of hot
everywhere.
So real I cuddle closer in bed to make it last.

I miss you.
Cradling me tight against you
and the low, hot roar of your bike.
Nuzzle my throat, my chest,
my hair in the salty breeze.
So real I breathe the fading warmth of the sunset.

I miss you.
Clearing the haze of memory
at morning's light.
Struggle to stay in your arms
at the beach awhile longer.
So real your smoky taste
lingers on my lips
As I lazily stretch awake.

I want that dream again.
I miss you.

Written by Eliza Jane Gomez
(1/11/96)